Quantcast
Latest Stories

Addie Cukingnan: A Chinese heritage comes alive

By

THE ARTIST in her studio

In late 2007, artist Addie Sycip Cukingnan held a show titled “Visions of China.”

The show was significant for a couple of reasons: It was the 10th anniversary of Arte Pintura, an association of several artists, all of individual persuasions but bound primarily by a common love for painting which has fostered a meaningful friendship among its members.

The other reason was more personal: The show was a homage to the artist’s Chinese ancestry. Addie’s mother is pure Filipino, while her father, a Sycip, is Chinese. She is also married to Fil-Chinese physician Alexander Cukingnan.

By 2007, Addie had had seven solo shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions of Arte Pintura. (More impressively, as an entrepreneur, she had all these years been managing a successful Japanese fast-food chain, Kitaro. With the recent sale, however, of Kitaro to another business group, Addie can now attend to her painting with even more concentration.)

With her show “Heritage,” Addie—for that is how the artist signs her works—deepens her connection with the tradition of Chinese painting. To be sure, these works were not executed in the classic and traditional style, using brush-and-ink, rendered on silk or paper. Addie, who is adept in oil, paints in the Western style, with Western techniques, but subscribes to the lessons of classic Chinese painting.

Pure Oriental mystery and elegance radiate from Addie’s ladies depicting The Four Seasons, a subject unfolding the different climes and moods which the changing weather brings. In elaborate costume and feminine accoutrements, each woman is dolled up to maximum allure, though their wily attraction is reinforced by a sense of emotional distance. Addie relishes the flourish of each portrait’s rendition, from the flowery headdress to the flowing drapery of robes.

“FULL Moon and Misty Gorges” 1

Classic theme

The theme of “The Four Seasons” is a classic format in Chinese painting which has been celebrated by ancient sayings that describe them: “The strokes grow with the grass on sandy banks and their lines join with the water and clouds (spring); “The land lies always in the shade and the air is coolest along the bank (summer). “I look afar at a desolate city and the flat woodland is still dark green” (autumn);” The brush moves ahead where the road fades away; the ink is heavy where the pond is cold (winter).

Addie’s ladies, however, personifies each a season. They are reflections of ancient Chinese painter Chou Fang’s “Beautiful Women” whom the scholar-artist Kao Lien lavishly praised. “They have an indefinable beauty, shown in their generous bodies, coy charm and decorous expression. They are not of the overpainted, lithesome type arousing lascivious thoughts in the viewer. The pupils of the eyes are like lacquer, and give a lifelike expression.”

In admiring Addie’s series titled “Full Moon and Misty Gorges,” the viewer can well imagine the artist, accompanied by her husband Alexander, when she went on a cruise tour of Yangtze River. The largest river in China, the Yangtze affords the visitors what travel brochures tout as “the thrill of a lifetime. Tourists enjoy the stunning scenery of the Three Gorges while exploring the ancient cultural sites along the river.”

Sheer reverie

Transforming the river into sheer reverie, Addie created dreamlike visions of massive towering mountains shrouded by banks of mist, the still winds stirred by the flight of white-feathered birds. Indeed, one construes the clouds crossing mountains for gentle sprays of waves.

“SPRING’S Reflection”

Long ago, the Chinese painter Shih-T’ao surmised such a happenstance: “Its surf rises like hill crests and its ebb resembles mountain ranges.”

Recalling a 15th-century painting, Mu-chi’s “Bird on a Branch,” are Addie’s works titled “Cockatoo and Spring Blossoms” and “In Bloom.” Luxuriously detailed in the rendition of their plumage, their chromatic exuberance is by turns startling and exhilarating. They seem charged with a decorative incandescence. Preening with their glorious feathers, these avian creatures sweep the viewer’s aesthetic appreciation.

Chinoiserie is the spirit that breathes through Addie’s still lifes of blue-and-white porcelain vessels garnished with peonies, magnolias, geraniums and narcissus. Essentially a Western theme, harking back to ancient Greek and Roman times, the still life evolved from depictions of fruits and food items to objects such as skulls, mirrors and hourglass that allude to man’s mortality.

Addie’s still lifes are distinguished by the superb sheen of reflected light on the porcelain’s glassy surface, which depicts dragons, birds, flowers and leaves. Against a background of darkly intense black and blue, these objects appear to float in contemplative space.

The Chinese artist Kao Lien remarked: “Charm in objects relates to forms and shapes. One should look for spiritual likeness beyond material likeness, seek for life within its forms.”

Undoubtedly, Addie Cukingnan’s recent works do justice to her Chinese heritage. These paintings establish the artist as one who responds sensitively both to nature and the spirit that issue directly from one’s racial ancestry.


Follow Us


Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Addie Sycip Cukingnan , Chinese Heritage , Lifestyle

  • joboni96

    richness of intsik culture
    in the philippines
    funded by pilipinos

  • kismaytami

    tsekwa day yata ngayon sa inquirer. Andaming tsekwa news.

  • bugoybanggers

    Bakit pa kasi HINAYAAN ng mga POLPOL na mga ninono natin itong mga TSEKWANG manirahan sa atin. Ang usapan nila noon ay para mag NEGOSYO lang at hindi MANIRAHAN! Napaka TANGA talaga ninyo mga TANGANG NINONO ng PILIPINO. Ngayon mga TSEKWA na ang nagHAHARI sa lahat halos ng LARANGAN. Mga mandurugas at manloloko! Artist pa kamo? Umuwi na nga kayo sa CHINA at doon na lang kayo mag PASIKAT!

  • UrHONOR

    PAGKAKAIBA ng Tseks sa Noypi:

    Noypi:  Ngawa-ng-ngawa. (Bakit kakalahati lang ang tinapay na ito?  Asan yong isa pang kalahati?)

    Tseks:  Gawa-ng- gawa. (Wakanga, singulo talaka mahal ako sa Buddha…. siya mikkay sa     akyen kalahati yan tinapay!  Molami salamat Buddha sa iyo mikkay sa akin kalahati tinapay yan)

    RESULTA: Noypi, katulong.
                     Tseks, Among tunay.



Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
Advertisement
  1. Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  2. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  3. ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  4. This is not just a farm
  5. Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  6. Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  7. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  8. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  9. Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  10. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  1. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  2. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?
  3. Marcos grandson to wed beautiful Rocha scion
  4. Sarah Geronimo and Matteo Giudicelli sing ‘All of Me’–and we all swoon
  5. Are your favorite malls open this Holy Week break?
  6. How Vitamin B can be a remedy for ‘manhid’ and neuropathy
  7. France makes work beyond 6 p.m. illegal
  8. Ever heard of HydroBob?
  9. 90 percent of Filipino households don’t practice proper toilet hygiene, sanitation
  10. Boots Anson-Roa to wed in Eddie Baddeo
  1. Mary Jean Lastimosa is new Miss Universe Philippines
  2. Did Angara ruin Pia Wurtzbach’s chances at Bb. Pilipinas?
  3. Dominique–Gretchen and Tonyboy Cojuangco’s daughter–now an endorser
  4. Manila in shock over model Helena Belmonte’s death
  5. Vinegar test helpful vs cervical cancer
  6. From Jeannie to mom of suicide victim
  7. San Vicente beaches hidden but not for long
  8. Borgy and Georgina are back; others are off–again
  9. Sen. Angara: I thought Pia Wurtzbach gave a good answer
  10. Why is the lifestyle set now afraid to wear jewelry–before Kim Henares?

News

  • 12 dead, 96 injured in Holy Week accidents–NDRRMC
  • Filipino devotees re-enact crucifixion of Christ
  • Rouhani talks peace, outreach at army parade
  • Rains, thunderstorms on Good Friday
  • Carbon monoxide leak suffocates 20 in Catbalogan City
  • Sports

  • Ryu pitches Dodgers past Giants
  • Alonso sets the pace in Chinese GP practice
  • Heat seek Three-peat but Spurs, Pacers top seeds
  • Can Spurs get back at Heat? Can they survive West?
  • Hopkins, 49, seeks win for the ageless
  • Lifestyle

  • Levine designs womenswear with help from fiancee
  • Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87
  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • Entertainment

  • ‘X-men’ filmmaker slams ‘fabricated’ sex attack claims
  • Singer Chris Brown’s bodyguard on trial in DC
  • Whoopi Goldberg debuts as marijuana columnist
  • ‘X-men’ director accused of sex assault on teen boy
  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Business

  • Italy sells luxury state cars on eBay
  • Asian shares mostly up in quiet trade
  • Dollar up in Asia on US jobs data, Ukraine deal
  • Barbie doll has a problem
  • Oil prices mixed ahead of long Easter weekend
  • Technology

  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • WHO warns vs spread of MERS-Cov, urges vigilance in taking precautions
  • Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards
  • San Francisco business coalition slams proposed tax on sugary drinks
  • A ‘time-travel’ production of ‘Les Miserable’ at Stanford
  • Filipina Maryknoll sister honored for years of service
    Marketplace